Equality of women and men

Establishing the equality of women and men in society is of vital importance to human advancement and is an issue which has occupied the minds and driven the efforts of many people. The Australian Baha’i Community is keen to contribute our perspectives and experiences to the discourse on achieving recognition of gender equality in our country.

Great advances have been made over the years in promoting the principle of equality through the contributions of feminist thought and by numerous individuals and groups acting in different social spaces around the world. Australia has historically been a leader in this field, with South Australian women among the first in the world to obtain the right to vote. Yet despite these efforts to accord women full equality, many challenges still exist.

The Baha’i writings explain that the equality of women and men is a fundamental truth about human reality, and not just a desired condition to be achieved for the good of society. The reality of the human being is his or her soul, and the soul has no gender. Men and women exhibit physical differences that undeniably influence some aspects of how we experience the world, yet, in our essence, women and men are without distinction and neither can claim superiority over the other.

“..until woman and man recognize and realise equality, social and political progress here or anywhere will not be possible.”

Australian Baha’is work with many other people who are engaging their high ideals and spiritual nature to realise the equality of women and men, including:

Among the questions that we seek to explore are:

  • How does discrimination against women limit the ability of all members of society to develop to their full potential?
  • How does it impact the progress and well-being of society as a whole?
  • How will progress towards equality transform various facets of Australian society: the development of intellectual life; the practice of governance; the allocation of material resources; the condition of the family?

We welcome the opportunity to explore such questions with people of all backgrounds and beliefs.